Rick Estrin

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Blue Strollin'

Fourth Chorus Breakdown

In verse four of Blue Strollin' I use a couple of musical quotes. The second phrase I play in this verse is adapted from Clifford Scott's iconic tenor sax solo in Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk". In the very next phrase, as the verse moves into the IV, I quote directly from Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back". Quotes can be useful, fun and sometimes funny, but as a rule you only want to use them when they fit seamlessly - Never try to force a lick. Of course there are times when staccato or frenetic playing are appropriate for a desired effect, but in general you always want your playing to sound like it has a natural flow.

Rick Estrin



Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
key of E
A Harp
Rick Estrin
Blue Strollin
Rusty Zinn

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:00 Rick and Rusty Playing the 3rd and 4th Chorus of Blue Strollin'

Loop 1:57 Run-Through of Fourth Verse Acoustically

Loop 2:45 Breakdown of First Two Riff's on the I Chord

Loop 5:09 Breakdown of IV Chord and Back to I Riff

Loop 6:31 Practice Loop of Frist 8 Bars

Loop 6:55 Breakdown of V Chord

Loop 8:32 Breakdown of Turnaround 

Loop 9:53 The Groove and Getting In The Pocket

Loop 12:10 Slow Practice Loop of 4th Verse

Loop 12:50 At Tempo Practice Loop of 4th Verse

Loop 13:18 Closing Thoughts





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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 01, 2016

I agree completely that your "quotes" fit seamlessly.  It's a beautiful tune and a great set of lessons.  I played it, at my best so far, for the first time this weekend with a piano player.  So much fun.  My 2 and 3 hole TB bends are actually beginning to feel right.  Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jun 01, 2016

Hey Bill - Congratulations on the tongue blocking! It's gonna be well worth the effort!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner May 31, 2016

I think Woody Guthrie said that amateurs plagiarize but artists steal shamelessly.  I prefer the idea of quoting.  Seems like a much more respectful way to borrow an idea.  The first quote really has the sax feel, especially the little diddly-da in the middle of it.  Amazing that we can just Google an artist and a tune and there it is.


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin May 31, 2016

Musical quotes can be fun and useful. The ones I used here just naturally popped out when I was coming up with the song - They seemed (to me) like they fit the piece perfectly and seamlessly. I think that "seamless" probably should be the rule-of-thumb when employing quotes - except in cases where you're specifically looking for a humorous effect (eg. I've heard that when a good-looking woman would walk in front of the bandstand, Charlie Parker would often quote the song "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody") - Anyway Bill, I hope you're enjoying this series of lessons - Feel free to ask me anything, anytime.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner May 30, 2016

I give up Rick. What are the first two quote?

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin May 30, 2016

Sorry Bill - I meant to tell what they were and I guess I got sidetracked. I apologize. I actually did name them though, in the Sonic Junction email lesson description.

Ok, so the second lick in the verse is from the Clifford Scott sax solo in Honky Tonk by Bill Doggett and the very next lick, the lick on the IV change, is from Scratch My Back by Slim Harpo.

Terry Church
Terry Church May 29, 2016

Why not call it "Strolling at the Junction"?  Could be theme song of Sonic Junction!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin May 29, 2016

Thanks Terry - Good idea! Too late for this series, but if I ever do anything else with the song...you never know.

Geoff May 28, 2016

Hi ! My nane is Geoff and I am really excited to get started. I dont have any knowledge or skills at playing the harmonica. Its been a couple of months that I have signed up to learn and I havent done anything with it as I am finding it difficult to follow the lessons. I basically lack knowledge on the basics. Please could you help. 



Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin May 28, 2016

Hi Geoff - I'm glad you asked. Fortunately for you, Sonic Junction has a big backlog of harmonica lessons. I suggest you go back and check out some of Jerry Portnoy's early lessons on the basics. If you do that, you can begin building a solid foundation and you'll be prepared for some of the more intermediate lessons from Jerry, Dennis and myself.

Jim Wood
Jim Wood May 27, 2016

Digging it!

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